Poison Apple

He was on his back, in a pool of light from the street, this velvet hair spread all over the floor around him. On my hands and knees I orbited, soon to join him in his distorted spotlight. A manicure to either side of him I covered him in shadow; a cloud diluting the sun. I licked his ears and slender throat.

My mind was reeling, I'd come and go with the tide of my intoxication. One moment I could recognize the sounds my breath, the air conditioner humming, the beat of a familiar CD spinning somewhere in an unfamiliar room, and another not. Like he, I was in and out of my body. Hiding in the dark. Fully exposed.

I tried watching him closely. Humidity slick on his eye lids, shimmering in the almost dark. The pink of his tongue flashed against the back of his teeth in this twisted game of one-upmanship. He was smooth and protecting, evenly paced, like a waltz. Practiced. Undoubtedly practiced. And lastly, he collapsed heavily on me; his moist tresses a veil that snaked around my neck with every tremor of aftermath. He was sinewy. When dressed a carefully assembled wardrobe afforded him a different stature.

I waited for him to move.

"Sticky dick." He pulled the latex off with a snap. I lay still on the floor wading through the thick of a nagging feeling I could not name.

Dressing too quickly my stockings ran. I pulled them back off with the deftness of an acrobat; balled and stuffed them into my handbag. Exhaust from the cigarette he'd put in my mouth burned my eyes. I sent it into the toilet and unwound my lipstick though wary of giving any serious regard to my reflection in an aging bathroom mirror.

He was dressed and leaning with much dégagé against a couple of feet of butcher-block counter opposite the bathroom door. He had one ankle crossed over the other and wore boots with a tapestry design, needle-toed and Cuban-heeled; exact punctuation at the end of his 501's sentence.

"Hey, that's wild."

"What is?" I tugged at my dress struggling with the seam. The exquisite fog of drink had turned dank and I could feel the sharp edges of a headache. He was wiggling his fingers in the air. "I've never made love with my rings on before."

I gazed at him pointedly. Act one, and he was no longer the same stranger.

Everything around was sharp lines of shadow -- furniture we'd toppled out of place stood indistinguishable in varying degrees of vanishing in the diminished light. There was quiet between us, conversely, in a very short while our secret would be in everyone's mouths. Like a moth who loved the light, and was willing to die for that love, I found myself clinging to the false warmth from a fixture in the foyer. He took this to mean I was anxious to leave.

What else was there to do? It, again?

RoseMarie London

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